Saturday, March 1, 2014

Spring seems to be here already!

We had our trees pruned last fall, so we don't see much of anything on the branches in our yard, but across the street, the fruit trees are in bloom. Our yard has turned to moss; I'd guess it's 80% moss, now, and I don't see the primeveres (primula), but I do spot them in the neighborhood. Forsythia is in bloom and the magnolia trees are budding. The roses have sprouted new leaves and I guess the buds will be coming, soon. My parsley didn't die this winter, and we've had fresh parsley a lot. I'm thinking I should do some preparation work on the vegetable garden boxes, but I can't help but think that a freeze could come.
Here, we had a wonderful visit by Claire, Aurelia, and Constance from England and Emma from the Tarn-et-Garonne. It was a short week, but the aunts, uncle, and cousin had a chance to meet Constance. Of course it rained a lot, so it was not great for going outside and doing things. I did take Aurelia to the library with Sacha. Aurelia got to use the umbrella and Sacha didn't complain when I put the plastic bubble on the stroller. We went to pick him up and took the long bus ride to the library, singing "The Wheels of the Bus..." and "I had a tiny turtle..." all the way, to the delight of Sacha. Then, we sang again on the ride back after the "lap-sit". The whole family gathered for a pizza party at Louis and Gwen's.
Other than that, it was a wet and windy month of very mild temperatures and not much activity.
I wanted to get rid of my US tax declaration, but many French institutions and administrations don't post their year-end statements until March or April, or even May. Some have come dribbling in, but I'm still waiting for others, so it's not worth opening the software to do only partial work. I think I can finish the FBAR, though. Get that out of the way, at least. I'll have to do it before April 15th, just to have an idea of what I may owe, so I can send in a check. I'll have to take the automatic extension (allowed to those who live abroad) to figure out the final figure, though.
AARO is having two tax seminars, again, this year. March 13, for those who are new to filing their US taxes (newcomers overseas, new to filing, or thinking of doing it yourself for the first time...) and March 17 for more experienced filers, who need to learn what's new this year or who have complicated returns. We hope a lot of new, young people will come. They are often unaware of their filing obligations because they owe no tax. If you know any Americans in or near Paris, let them know of these events.

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